A New (Old) Lens

As is the norm, anytime I get a new lens in my hands, it gets pointed at my cat.  These shots happen to be from a Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8 in m42 mount.  It connects to my X-T1 via a cheap Fotodiox adapter and gives me a roughly 85mm angle of view.   Since I can’t afford the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 currently, I’m hoping this will hold me over until I can.  For a 40 year old lens, I think it performs quite well.  The cat was still not happy though.

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San Diego as Seen by my Fuji

Having just returned from San Diego, I’m realizing just how much my new 23mm lens is my sweet spot.  My travel bag contained the 23mm, 35mm and the 55-200mm.  The Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens performed amazingly well.  At first, I was a bit worried about the single focal length and if I would miss any opportunities because of it.  After shooting with it primarily for a few days, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  It felt great to be focused on a single focal length and walk around without a bag full of glass.  Here are some of shots while walking around.

The 55-200mm only came into play when I ventured over to the San Diego Zoo.  As much as I’m loving the 23mm, it really isn’t suited to the job.

On my last day in San Diego, I explored the USS Midway.  This is a decommissioned aircraft carrier that is now a floating museum and educates the public about life on a carrier.  For this, the 23mm was back on the X-T1 and never came off.

The interesting part of this trip was that the 35mm only was on the camera for a few shots inside of the reptile house.  The 55-200mm wasn’t bright enough, so the f/1.4 35mm lens came out of the bag for a few shots.  I love the lens, but the focal length may not be my favorite anymore.

Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R First Impressions

One of the perks of using the Fuji X system is the quality of the glass they provide.  Ever since I bought into it, I’ve yet to be disappointed in a lens purchase.  The lens selection keeps growing and the roadmap that Fuji has mapped out shows that they intend on making the X a complete system.  The only problem is that I am always tempted to increase the size of my lens collection.  Last week, Fuji broke my resolve of holding out when they announced another big sale on many of their lenses.

I have been pining after the Fuji 23mm XF lens ever since it was first announced.  For years, I’ve always had a 50mm (in 35mm field of view) and have really enjoyed that focal length.  Lately however, I’ve been wanting to simplify what I bring to family functions and have been very intrigued about the 35mm field of view and fast aperture of the Fuji 23mm.  Once the sale was announced, I couldn’t pass it up.  2 days later, it showed up.

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The lens so far is everything I expected and my expectations were quite high.  It seems every review of this lens that I could find online praised it top to bottom.  The build quality feels superb, the manual focus ring works great and the optics are beautiful.  I’m already in love with the field of view if offers.

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So far, I don’t have any complaints with the 23mm lens.  The hood is a bit big, but I knew that going in and purchased an old style screw in round hood.  This protects the front element and reduces some glare, but isn’t nearly as large as the oem petal shaped hood.  Autofocus is pretty quick and accurate, so no issues there.  Manual focus works very well when paired with my X-T1.  Originally, I was a fan of the focus peaking, but after playing around with the Split Focus mode, I’ve found that to work out the best for me.

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All in all, this lens has been glued to my camera since I bought it.  I don’t think it will be coming off anytime soon unless there is a specific purpose that the 23mm simply isn’t for.  I’m even thinking of taking only the 23mm on my next trip to really give the lens a workout and see how universal it actually is.